This paper assesses the impact of publishing abstracts in English in the Portuguese Linguistics Association (APL) Proceedings
from 2001 to 2010. The study was carried out with a corpus of 137 abstracts, follows a Text Linguistics model inspired by the Interactionnisme Sociodiscoursif
and links text features to the social practices and genre repertoires of this community. Quantitative data show signs of a “Portuguese identity” in authors’ voices such as personal forms, move signaling, long sentences, profuse embedding, heavy subjects, and variations in content selection, but also signs of standard academic guideline-indexed choices in impersonal forms, template sentences, coordinated constituents, nominalizations, and conventional text plans. Standard genre models and writing features from “core” academic communities coexist with alternative and traditional ways of writing and of disseminating knowledge, which is typical of a semiperipheral non-native English-speaking community torn between conflicting language and cultural paradigms. These contrasting tendencies are linked to identity changes within the community, as APL authors try to achieve international recognition by publishing abstracts in English as a Foreign Language. Since the APL research topic is the Portuguese language, the process mirrors the authors’ struggle between standard internationalization in English and individual stance in Portuguese.
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